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Australasia News

Orion reawakening geological giant in Northern Cape 

By: Martin Creamer     18th April 2019 Three years ago, Orion Minerals was trading at an eighth of an Australian cent a share. It had a market capitalisation of $4-milllion and set out to find something that could be turned into a mine. The good news is that the company found that opportunity in South Africa, and its share price has... 

LME ready to address flaws in its metal storage rules

By: Reuters     18th April 2019 The London Metal Exchange is poised to deal with a loophole in its warehousing rules, exposed after commodity trader Glencore bought large amounts of aluminium earlier this year, sources familiar with the matter said. But the exchange will have to wait until a complaint lodged by Glencore with... 

Fitch warns iron-ore price increase may be ‘more structural’ than initially thought

By: Simone Liedtke     18th April 2019 The sharp rise in iron-ore prices to over $90 per dry metric ton (dmt) from under $75/dmt since January, may be “more structural than initially anticipated”, says Fitch Ratings. It believes sustained iron-ore prices of above $85/dmt over the next 9 to 12 months should provide cash flow windfalls... 

Weednanna proves promising for Alliance

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 The Weednanna gold project, in South Australia, would likely require a capital investment of some A$44.4-million, a scoping study has found ASX-listed Alliance Resources on Thursday said that the scoping study, based on a 250 000 t/y gold processing plant and tailings storage facility, had... 

St Barbara books solid quarter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 Gold miner St Barbara has revised its production forecast at both its Gwalia and Simberi operations, in Western Australia and Papua New Guinea respectively. The ASX-listed miner was now expecting Gwalia to produce between 235 000 oz and 240 000 oz in the full 2019, compared with the previous... 

Sandfire ups outlook for 2019

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 Copper/gold miner Sandfire Resources has reported another strong quarter at its DeGrussa mine, in Western Australia. Copper production in the three months to March reached 16 062 t, which was on par with the 16 888 t produced in the previous quarter, while gold production also remained stable at... 

Resolute inks new mining convention in Mali

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 Gold miner Resolute Mining has struck a new Mining Convention with the Mali government over its Syama gold mine, lowering the income tax rate on the project from 35% to 25%. Resolute on Thursday reported that the Mali government had also granted a further ten-year extension to the Syama mining... 

Galaxy fails to find JV partner for Sal de Vida

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 The share price of lithium miner Galaxy Resources fell by nearly 12% on Thursday after the company announced that it would close the joint venture (JV) process for its Sal de Vida project, without a deal. Through the second half of 2018 and early 2019, Galaxy conducted an evaluation of strategic... 

Fortescue takes a hit from Veronica

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals has tightened its full year export guidance following Tropical Cyclone Veronica, in late March. The company on Thursday reported that the wet weather conditions resulted in the loss of five days of shipments, equating to some 2.5-million tonnes during the three... 

South32 coking coal output down 37%, energy coal hit by community protests  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 Diversified miner South32 has lowered its energy coal and alumina production expectations for the full year, following a tough March quarter. Energy coal production for the quarter declined by 1% on the previous quarter, to 6.3-million tonnes, while metallurgical coal production was down 37% to... 

South32 coking coal output down 37%, energy coal hit by community protests
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

A$1bn Winchester South coal project to boost Queensland jobs

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 The A$1-billion Winchester South metallurgical coal project has been declared a Coordinated Project by the Queensland government’s independent Coordinator-General. The opencut mine, which will have a targeted run-of-mine production rate of 15-million tonnes a year of high-quality metallurgical... 

Woodside holds firm in the March quarter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th April 2019 Oil and gas major Woodside has reported steady production in the three months to March, compared with the previous corresponding period, with revenues rising 4%. Woodside on Thursday reported a production of 21.7-million barrels of oil equivalent, compared with the 22.1-million barrels in the... 

Goldcorp and Newmont successfully create gold behemoth

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th April 2019 Gold miners Goldcorp and Newmont have successfully closed their $10-billion merger, creating the world’s largest gold mining business with operations in the Americas, Africa and Australia. Newmont Goldcorp will continue trading on the NYSE with the ticker ‘NEM’ and will begin trading on the TSX... 

Five-month gold strike is over 

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2019 The five-month strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at Sibanye-Stillwater’s South African gold operations is over. Parties have acknowledged that it is in their interest to rebase and develop a constructive relationship going forward, Sibanye-Stillwater said in a... 

Eager black investors fund premium-priced opportunity in zinc, copper 

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2019 Black investors have self-funded the purchase of shares at a premium price in the fast-tracked redevelopment of the Prieska zinc and copper mine in the Northern Cape, which has a three-year payback and a minimum mine life of ten years. The $8-million equity capital raising by Orion Minerals,... 

Eager black investors fund premium-priced opportunity in zinc, copper
Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Dylan Slater
Orion Minerals’ ‘meet-the-media’ attendees were from left: Jowell Tobias, Godfrey Gomwe, Billy Mawasha, Michelle Jenkins, Errol Smart, Nelson Mosiapoa, Tom Borman, Sharon Matthews and Roger Matthews.

Royal Bafokeng boosts production despite setbacks 

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2019 Black-owned platinum group metals mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum boosted its production in the three months to March 31, in spite of several setbacks in the period. Tonnes delivered to concentrators increased by 17.3% to 862 000 t and tonnes milled increasing by 11.6% to 846 000 t.... 

Finniss DFS confirms financials - Core

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 A definitive feasibility study into the Finniss lithium project, in the Northern Territory, has estimated that it would require a capital investment of A$73-million. ASX-listed Core Lithium on Wednesday reported that the one-million tonne a year openpit operation would produce up to 180 000 t/y... 

Rio farewells group exec

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has announced the retirement of group executive Joanne Farrell, who will retire at the end of September. Farrell joined the company in 1987 and has worked in a variety of roles across human resources, health, safety, communities and environment before joining the... 

Wetar's new owners make a change

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 The Wetar copper project, in Indonesia, is expected to reach its targeted production rate of 25 000 t/y by the second half of this year, after a $24-million cash injection from new owner Eastern Field Development (EFDL). EFDL in October 2017 launched a takeover bid for project owner Finders... 

Santos output climbs in first quarter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 Oil and gas major Santos has reported a 16% increase in production during the first quarter of 2019, compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, despite the Western Australian operations being impacted by cyclone activity, and facility outages in the Cooper Basin. Production volumes for the three... 

Evolution remains on track for full-year target

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 ASX-listed gold miner Evolution Mining has reported a fall in gold production for the three months to March, with the company remaining on track to reach its full year production guidance. Gold production in the March quarter was reported at 175 901 oz, down from the 181 996 oz delivered in the... 

Saracen reports record quarter as Thunderbox rumbles

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 Gold miner Saracen Mineral Holdings has reported a record quarter during the three months to March, on the back of record production from its Thunderbox project, in Western Australia. Gold production in the March quarter reached 89 208 oz, up from the 88 833 oz produced in the previous quarter,... 

Senex seals domestic gas contract

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 ASX-listed Senex Energy has inked the first domestic gas sales supply contract at its Project Atlas development, in Queensland. Senex on Wednesday announced that it had agreed to a domestic gas sales agreement for up to 3.25 PJ of natural gas with fellow-listed CSR, which would use the gas in... 

Pacifico gets breathing room

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended that ASX-listed Pacifico Minerals be given a further five years to start development at its Sorby Hills lead/silver/zinc project. The EPA has recommended that Pacifico be granted leave until April 2024, to develop... 

Appeal against environmental authorisation for MC Mining's Makhado project dismissed

By: African News Agency      17th April 2019 Coal mining company MC Mining said on Wednesday appeals against an amendment to an environmental authorisation for its Makhado project allowing for the transportation of coal to Musina by road rather than rail had been dismissed. MC Mining's subsidiary Baobab Mining & Exploration is developing... 

BHP downgrades iron-ore outlook

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2019 Mining major BHP has revised its full year iron-ore production expectations on the back of Tropical Cyclone Veronica, telling shareholders on Wednesday that iron-ore production for the full year is now expected to be between 235-million and 239-million tonnes. This new guidance compared with... 

BHP downgrades iron-ore outlook

Gold output to reach record high this year – report 

By: Nadine James     16th April 2019 Gold production increased for the tenth consecutive year in 2018 to 107.3-million ounces and is expected to reach a new record high of 109.6-million ounces this year, S&P Global Market Intelligence research analyst Christopher Galbraith said on Tuesday.   He noted that while the year-on-year... 

Gold output to reach record high this year – report

Tando welcomes updated high-grade shallow resource estimate at SPD

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2019 An updated high-grade shallow resource for ASX-listed Tando Resources' SPD vanadium project, in South Africa, underpins the potential for a low-cost, near-term operation, MD Bill Oliver said on Tuesday. The company on Tuesday announced the new Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (Jorc-) compliant... 

Strandline’s Coburn delivers strong financial returns

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2019 Mineral sands project developer Strandline said on Tuesday that it would move to finalise funding and partnering for its Coburn project, in Western Australia, after a definitive feasibility study (DFS) outlined the projects strong financial returns. The DFS calculates that Coburn will generate... 

Senex awards Surat basin drilling contract

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2019 Listed oil and gas company Senex will start its Surat basin gas drilling programme next month, after contracting services provider Easternwell. “This contract puts in place one of the final major elements for the delivery of our Surat basin natural gas project,” said MD and CEO Ian Davies in a... 

Sanbrado optimised study predicts 300 000 oz in first year – West African

By: Nadine James     16th April 2019 Sydney-listed West African Resources has increased its forecast yearly gold production from the Sanbrado mine, in Burkina Faso, following an optimised feasibility study. Announcing the results of the study on Tuesday, the company said that Sanbrado would produce 301 000 oz in its first year of... 

OceanaGold to earn into Nevada gold project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2019 Australia-based midtier miner OceanaGold has struck an earn-in deal in Nevada, in the US, with American Pacific Mining (APM), in terms of which it could hold a controlling interest in the Tuscarora project. OceanaGold will earn a 51% stake by spending $4-million over the next four years, and will... 

WGC, ICBC sign MoU to develop Chinese gold market

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2019 The World Gold Council (WGC) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on developing the Chinese gold market, including the development and marketing of gold solutions for Millennial consumers and institutional investors.   China... 

Santos makes significant offshore gas discovery at Corvus

By: Nadine James     16th April 2019 Energy company Santos on Tuesday announced the successful appraisal of the Corvus field, offshore Western Australia, with Corvus-2 confirming a significant gas resource in the Carnarvon basin. The company, which holds a 100% interest in the well 90 km north-west of Dampier, drilled to a total... 

Orion clinches potent new-style empowerment deal  

By: Martin Creamer     16th April 2019 Sydney- and Johannesburg-listed exploration and mining development company Orion Minerals has found a formula to achieve empowerment that puts all shareholders at full participation and contribution. “What we’ve arrived at is a fantastic win-win scenario,” an overjoyed Orion CEO Errol Smart told... 

Orion clinches potent new-style empowerment deal
Orion Minerals CEO Errol Smart (left) interviewed by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Photographs: Dylan Slater.

Rio Tinto cuts iron-ore guidance after challenging start to 2019

By: Mariaan Webb     16th April 2019 The year has started with “several challenges” for diversified mining group Rio Tinto’s iron-ore business, resulting in the major downgrading its guidance for 2019. Pilbara shipments are now expected to be between 333-million and 343-million tonnes for the year, compared with the previous... 

Rio Tinto cuts iron-ore guidance after challenging start to 2019

Lynas posts 33% jump in Q3 rare earths output, amid takeover interest

By: Reuters     16th April 2019 Takeover target Lynas Corp on Tuesday reported a 32.5% rise in production of rare-earth oxides (REOs) during the quarter, as it fends off a takeover offer from retails-to-chemicals conglomerate Wesfarmers. Output of REO in the quarter ending March 31 was 5 444 t, compared with 4 110 t produced... 

MC signs coal offtake agreement for Makhado thermal coal 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2019 ASX-, Aim- and JSE-listed MC Mining's Limpopo Coal Company subsidiary has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with one of the world's largest producers and marketers of bulk commodities for the offtake of export quality thermal coal to be produced during Phase 1 of the Makhado project, in... 

MC signs coal offtake agreement for Makhado thermal coal
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
MC CEO David Brown
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